Although the highly-anticipated Friends reunion was finally confirmed in February after many months of speculation, the excitement was short-lived. The special’s May 27 release on HBO Max was indefinitely postponed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic halting film and television production for the unforeseeable future.
However, the time to rejoice on this emotional roller coaster has once again come as WarnerMedia Entertainment announced the episode will tentatively be filmed this summer and is slated to launch during the fall programming schedule.“At first we thought, shows will be delayed for a month or two at the most, and now it seems like it’s going to be far longer than that. We’re holding out for being able to get this special done hopefully by the end of the summer if the stars align and hopefully we can get back into production,” WarnerMedia Entertainment direct-to-consumer chairman Bob Greenblatt told Variety earlier this week.
Already hailed as one of the new streaming platform’s crown jewels of original content, the one-hour unscripted special reuniting all the original castmembers was set to be shot in March in a live taping on the original Friends stage lot more than 15 years after the finale for a lucky audience to experience in person. As part of the All-In Challenge, a digital fundraiser aiming to curb the food insecurity crisis in the United States with celebrity experiences and giveaways, one fan and five of their friends are also invited to join Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer as their personal guests at the taping and for a nostalgic cup of coffee.
However, the taping may have to occur virtually if the current lockdown measures persist. “But at the moment, we’re trying to look to the future and get this thing done in a more conventional way, and I think it’s worth waiting for,” Greenblatt continued in the interview, adding “We would have loved to have had it on (HBO Max on) Day One, but at the same time, if we can get it launched in the fall, I think it’ll be something that we can have the audience really looking forward to as well.”
While the long-awaited reunion will not be available to air on the new streaming platform’s debut in May, all 10 seasons featuring the beloved Central Perk crew will still be available to exclusively stream on HBO Max to watch for the umpteenth time.
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